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Roanoke Personal Injury Law Blog

Safety tips for truck drivers to help avoid truck accidents

This blog recently discussed that April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, while also reviewing the serious dangers of distracted driving. Distracted Driving Awareness Month began in 2014 when the United States Department of Transportation noticed an increase in distracted driving-related accidents. Distracted driving can also cause truck accidents, which makes truck driver safety another point of concern. A variety of safety tips can help truck drivers keep those they share the roadways with safe.

One professional truck driver notes that distracted driving is the biggest threat to safety on the roadways. Putting the phone down, however, can eliminate that type of driver distraction. Another tip is to store the phone away while driving in a location that will not create temptation to use it or look at it while driving. Additionally, it is important to never text while driving. A single word text removes the driver's eyes from the roadway for 5 second which, while traveling at 60 mph, is enough time to travel the distance of a football field.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

While many Virginia residents see many benefits to motor vehicles, they are also aware that there are many risks. Because April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, it is a good opportunity to understand what distracted driving is and the dangers it poses. According to the National Safety Council, it is estimated that greater than 40,000 victims died in car accidents during 2016 and cell phone use was the leading cause of those accidents. In Virginia, drivers who use their cell phones while driving can receive a traffic infraction totaling $125 the first time and $250 the second time.

In addition to receiving a costly traffic citation, distracted driving can also be dangerous and can cause significant harm to victims when it results in accidents. Unfortunately, distracted driving can have a broad and negative impact on victims, which is why it is important for distracted drivers to understand the dangers they may be placing others in. A driving instructor in Virginia noted that distracted driving places others, including other drivers, passengers and pedestrians, sharing the roadway in danger.

Up to 1,000 ATVs recalled for fire and burn hazards

ATV use is increasingly popular, which is why it is important to be familiar with safety concerns and protections for riders. Approximately 850 to 1,000 all terrain vehicles or ATVs)have been recalled because of a fire hazard. The ATVs were recently recalled because the side panel heat shield can melt, creates a fire and burn hazard for riders of these recalled ATVs. Additionally, the exhaust springs can stretch and damage the exhaust seal, resulting in exhaust leaks, which can also create fire and burn hazards for riders. The ATV recall includes 2015 and 2016 models, all of them coming in a variety of colors.

The manufacturer has received 793 reports of incidents related to the defect, which included reports of warped, melted or burned side panels. The incidents have led to 47 fires and 4 burn injuries being reported. Consumers with recalled ATVs are encouraged to immediately discontinue use of the ATVs and contact the manufacturer for a free repair. Product safety is a serious issue that the legal process does not take lightly. As a result, victims harmed by defective or dangerous products enjoy a variety of protections.

A look at the dangers of distracted driving

Distracted driving is a dangerous phenomenon on roads and highways throughout the country. It is a risky activity that not only put a motorist's life in danger but also risks the lives of other travelers on the roadway. It causes a driver to take their mind off the primary task of driving and is the cause of numerous accidents in Virginia and other states across the nation each year.

During 2014, distracted driving resulted in the deaths of 3,179 victims and injuries to 431,000 other victims. Distracted driving includes cell phone use while driving, texting and driving and a host of other activities that remove the driver's attention from the roadway. Distracted driving can be a danger to drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other bystanders sharing the roadways.

What is a defective product?

Defective products are a serious concern for victims harmed by them. Injuries caused by a defective product may give rise to liability to a number of parties. Parties that may be liable for harm caused by defective products can include the manufacturer of the parts of the product, the assembler of the product, the wholesaler and the retailer.

Products with inherent defects that cause harm to victims can be subject to a products liability claim for damages. Based on state laws, products liability claims for damages may be based on negligence, strict liability or breach of warranty of fitness. Products may be defective because of design defects, manufacturing defects and defects in marketing, such as improper instructions or a failure to warn users of potential dangers of the product.

Damages may be available to help brain injury victims

Traumatic brain injuries are tremendously disruptive to the lives of the victims. Victims of traumatic brain injuries can face deficits in every area of their lives, including physical, sensory, cognitive and emotional. Victims may suffer speech and other sensory impairments, challenges associated with movement, difficulty processing information, difficulties related to memory and mood and personality disruptions. Emotional outbursts may not be uncommon, and loves ones may feel that the personality of the victim has changed.

All of the challenges faced by victims of traumatic brain injuries can be overwhelming. It is important for victims and their families to have access to medical care, treatment and rehabilitation when necessary. Unfortunately, for TBI sufferers and their families, the medical care and treatment victims often require can be costly. Victims of TBIs require a significant amount of care, which can take a toll on victims and their families.

Roanoke truck accident kills one and injures another

Victims impacted by a truck accident have legal protections to consider when harmed. A truck accident in Roanoke recently claimed the life of a 16-year-old victim. The crash, which is under investigation, took place between a tractor trailer and a minivan. The victim who was killed was a passenger in the minivan. The driver of the minivan and the front-seat passenger both suffered injuries and were taken to a local hospital for medical treatment. No charges had been filed immediately following the truck accident.

Truck accidents can take place in a second and alter the lives of victims and their families forever. Victims may face unexpected medical care and treatment costs and may be unable to work, creating additional financial and emotional strain on their lives. Victims may also face a long and slow recovery process and physical challenges that may include disability. Surviving family members of victims killed in truck accidents may also suffer financial and emotional damages.

What are the symptoms and impacts of brain injuries?

Each day in the United States, victims die from traumatic injuries, including brain injuries. Brain injuries are exceptionally serious injuries. Brain injuries occur from a bump, blow or jolt to the head that disrupts normal brain activity. Brain injuries can occur from a variety of different types of accidents including car accidents, defective product-related injuries and falls, as well as in other situations. It is important to be able to spot the symptoms of a brain injury, but some individuals may wonder what those symptoms are.

Brain injuries can be open or closed, and the symptoms may be immediately evident or may develop over time. As a result, it is important for victims and family members to be aware of what to watch for. Symptoms of a brain injury can include loss of consciousness or confusion; dizziness or loss of vision; severe headache; numbness; excessive drowsiness; weakness in arms or legs; slurred speech and vomiting or nausea. There are also several methods doctors use to determine a brain injury.

Virginia truck accident claims the life of a woman

Truck accidents can be devastating for victims and their families. A truck accident in a nearby Virginia community north of the Roanoke area recently left one victim dead. According to authorities, the truck accident occurred when a tractor trailer attempted to make an improper turn from the right-hand lane to the crossover, possibly causing the passenger vehicle driven by the 56-year old victim to rear end the tractor trailer.

Both the Virginia State Police Accident Reconstruction Team and the Virginia State Police Motor Carrier Unit were called to investigate the fatal truck accident. The 69-year old driver of the tractor trailer was charged by police with making an improper turn. Oftentimes, criminal citations or traffic charges can be used as evidence of negligence if a claim for damages is made either by the victim of an accident or the victim's family.

Types of damages that may be available for car accident victims

Car accidents can result in a variety of different types of damages for victims. Victims may suffer damages including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering damages and loss of companionship. These damages may be available in a variety of personal injury cases, including car accidents, and can result in punitive damages as well in some circumstances. For those who do not know, punitive damages are designed to punish the negligent party such as when a victim has been harmed by a defective product such as a defective vehicle.

Medical expenses and costs can be extensive. Victims may suffer damages including emergency care fees such as ambulance charges, hospital expenses, physical or cognitive therapy and care costs, consultations and medical accessories, as well as in-home care services. Victims may also suffer disfigurement and other permanent injuries.

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